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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks. I am the complete newbie. My career has dominated my life for many years and I have ended up in my 50's with zero hobbies. My kids are getting older and my job has changed so that I have more free time now - but I have nothing to fill it.

I saw a friend post something about a scooter on a FB page. It caught my eye. I had a Vespa scooter WAY back in college when I could not afford gas. I really enjoyed riding that thing despite its lack of power (and the fact that I live in a state where it gets freaking cold for much of the year). Anyway, the notion of a scooter caught my attention & I started looking online about them. I found the Burgman scooters and they sound exactly like what I think I would enjoy.

So, I am here poking around. I really don't *go* anywhere even in a car these days except to go to/from the airport once every couple weeks. I haven't figured out how I would do that on a Burgman, but maybe that isn't the purpose either. :D

Thanks for letting me join you.

Ross
 

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Welcome and are you rural or urban.

The Burgmans in general bear no resemblance to your memories which are city scoots.

You are really entering into the full sized two wheeled world...which can take you across country in comfort and style or be the easiest urban commuter available.

This was the review that got me into the maxi-scoot category
http://www.onewheeldrive.net/2006/10/04/scoot-touring-the-honda-silverwing-and-suzuki-burgman/

But the Burgman 650 is no learner bike....it will stay in the hunt with most middle weights and trounce not a few.

The riders here are very experienced in general..they can all help you decide the correct machine which may not be a Burgman at all.

I ride 3 different machines --- many here have multiple rides.

The more you tell us ...the better the community can help.
 

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Welcome to our world! Everything you'd want to know about the Burgman 400/650 is here!
 

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Welcome to the board. I live in Colorado and ride my Burgman year around as it's my only transportation. If you want to ride during the fall/winter you'll want to get a good aftermarket windshield, I recommend a Clearview windshield. Joe Rocket makes great insulated riding jackets. Heated gloves and jackets help a lot, I use Mobile Warming Mens Battery Heated LTD Max Gloves and Mens Classic Heated Softshell Jacket. The Mobile Warming gear is pricey, but great gear is. You also don't have to fiddle with wires because they use lithium-ion batteries, on the low setting the batteries will last up to 10 hours.
 

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Being a beginner (sorry, 30 years old skills don't really count anymore), I always suggest getting the biggest bike you think you can deal with. The 200 is an excellent bike, but the 400 has been around longer and is easier to get used. The 650 is basically an automatic motorcycle with all the power and weight that entails. It's doable for a first timer, but not recommended.

So I'd split the difference and get the 400. It's a wonderful bike that even us old timers never tire of. I've been riding for 35 years and love my 400. I ride it most days.

That being said, there are many others you could consider like the Honda Forza 300, the yamaha Majesty 400 (Burgmans better though) and the Piaggio BV 350 if you like the vespa styling. Vespas also make a fine 250 and 300 if you want to stay traditional. But they aren't great on the highway, whereas the Burgman 400 is. I highly recommend ABS no matter what you decide upon.

Buy used. You will drop it. Just accept it so you won't feel bad when you do. It is Better to mess up an inexpensive bike till you get your riding skills back than a brand new one.

Take the MSF training course to help relearn your skills. Ride daily when you can to develop them more.

Get proper gear. All of it. Lots of gently used garments can be found on eBay, if cost is a problem. Seriously DONT go without it. We have an expression, ATGATT - All The Gear, All The Time. Learn it, use it, live by it. My hide has been saved a couple times. For a beginner, it's even more important.

Check into www.meetup.com to see if there are any riding groups in your area. I've made LOTS of friends from that site and ride practically every weekend. It's a great and not too expensive hobby if you do it right.
 

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Ross welcome to the forum. If you plan on getting a maxi-scooter the first thing you should probably do is take a motorcycle safety course. I'm not sure about Michigan but most states require a safety course to get your motorcycle endorsement, and you will need a motorcycle endorsement to ride a maxi-scooter. I would also advise buying a used scooter for your first scooter. I would not advise getting a 650 for your first scooter either. I would suggest a 200cc through 400cc at most until you are comfortable riding, then you could move up if you feel you need more power. The reason I suggest buying used is because if you are like most of us you will drop your scooter while you're learning to ride.


I guess Liamjs posted the same information I was typing. I'll add that everyone here will think that a Burgman is the best scooter to get. What ever forum you go to will tell you their brand is best. I'd look for the best deal you can find,(and that fits you good) whatever brand it is because you'll probably buy something different after you're comfortable with what you bought and want to go bigger.
 

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Welcome! I was 60 when I decided to get back on 2 wheels. Looked around and found a nice used '05 Burgman 400, I love it. It is plenty fast for what I want to do with it, run errands and take rides around our beautiful country here in NE TN.
Be sure to take the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) Basic course to get your feet wet, it only takes 1 weekend to complete the course.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, all. I appreciate the tips. Yes, these are MUCH bigger than what I rode way back when. That was part of my concern. I also have a short inseam and the 650 just looked like it would be problematic for me. The 400 seemed to be good from a size perspective. Yes, I have come to the conclusion that used is better. The ones I have seen around here seem to have low mileage. MSF Basic course is definitely in my future.

My area is best qualified as "suburban". I live in the burbs north of Detroit. The roads turn to dirt just north of me, but I doubt I would be going down them if I could avoid it. I try to avoid that with my car! Frankly, it is the potholes that are the most concerning to me.

I haven't said anything to my wife about this idea yet. I am somewhat afraid she *will* see it as a mid-life crisis or silly or a waste of money. (Although surviving a heart attack & cancer in the past few years, I think I am entitled to one if I want one and this is cheaper than the typical corvette, I suppose). I have thought about suggesting we do this as a couple. Have any of you gone from non-biker to biking couple?
 

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I have thought about suggesting we do this as a couple. Have any of you gone from non-biker to biking couple?
In short, bad idea. I know I will get reamed for this by every member who goes riding with their wife, but hear me out guys.

First you're a beginner, you've NO business putting someone on your bike and risking their life until you're really good. Nothing sours a relationship faster than road rash.

Second, it's your hobby, not necessarily hers. If she's interested and enthusiastic, then by all means, get her involved. However there are a lot of bikes on Craigslist that were meant for the wife, but never got ridden. Someone I know has bought at least three bikes with his wife in mind, but she rarely ever rides them or with him. It's just not her thing, even though she took the course, has her license and says she loves it. Proof is in the pudding, she doesn't do it.

Third, I personally never encourage or try to sway anyone into riding. There was a time I did and a couple people got hurt trying it and I felt responsible. You don't want that with your wife. She may do it just to make you happy or enrichen the relationship, which while admirable, are not reasons to ride. Ride because you love riding. If you JUST want to be with the spouse, have a picnic. Riding at 65 mph is not necessarily the best way to get closer, is what I'm saying.

That being said, if she's into it, then by all means, the two of you should do it together. Be safe and Have a ball. BUT, don't use it as a means just to butter her up to get a bike, too many pitfalls there.

Good luck.
 

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Welcome. If you don't count a minibike as a kid, my 2 wheel experience started off with a moped license when I was 14. I went through two mopeds from 14-16. Once I got my 1st car I didn't come back to 2 wheels until around 5 years ago. I rode a 50cc chinese scoot for 4 years that I picked up in a trade. Last spring I picked up a 300cc chinese scoot, and last fall I fell upon a deal on a 2004 Burgman 400. Although I've ridden a Honda 350 I've never had a desire to own a motorcycle over a scooter. I think you are on the right track to pick up a burgman. I would also suggest a used one to "wet your whistle" so to speak. But not really for the same reasons as others. I would go used because you may or may not decide to pursue the hobby. You may end up riding only occasionally. An ideal 1st burgman would be a 400 for 2000 or less. If you don't have the need for freeway's, a 200 would be a great 1st bike. But as was said, you likely will not find a deal on a 200, there's just not that many around. But hey, if $ is not an issue, go ahead and buy any condition you wish.

As for your "biker couple" comment. In Ohio when you get a permit, you can't ride at night or have a passenger. A permit is good for 1 year. These restrictions are lifted when you get your permanent license. I guess what I'm suggesting here is that you ride solo for 1 year regardless before you invite your wife to ride as a passenger. Having a passenger is a entirely different handling experience. Especially when your passenger is a newbie also. A passenger can do things without realizing it that can quickly make you fight to keep control of the bike. "Fighting" the bike in leans, turns etc.

After you ride solo and develop skills, have at it. It's a great way to spend time together. Who knows, maybe your wife would like her own down the road. My wife and I ride two up together now, and she loves it. She now asks me "can we go for a ride"?. But it was not easy for me until my wife got used to the idea of "flowing" with the bike so to speak.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
don't use it as a means just to butter her up to get a bike, too many pitfalls there.
Yeah - that wasn't the intention. I actually was thinking of buying two of them, if she was interested. I did say something to her. Of course, she wants a pony instead. (Well, a horse, actually - but that isn't MY thing). So back to square one.
 

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Welcome, Ross.

I have a scooter for both transport and pleasure. We don't have a car and mostly rely on (plentiful, convenient) public transport, but an alternative way of regularly getting across town is sometimes necessary, and the scoot is cheap and suitable. I like to drive (when we had a car, it was mine, and I did most of the driving), and the scooter helps fulfil that itch. I find it very zen, actually.

I decided to get my first bike when I was 40. Midlife crisis? maybe. Not really. Some times you just need a change, or to take up something new, otherwise you fossilise and go all sad.

My husband would be dangerous on a bike, which he freely admits. He'd not be a tearaway, he's just too distractable for his own good, and though many people "get away with it" in a car, you simply don't have that leeway on a bike. When I'm on the bike, it's the only thing I'm doing.

We're happy to go our own way on this. I think the main thing is to be sensible and talk a lot about it, being open about this is what I want and why. Since I can't really ride with him, I've found other people to go with when the time is right.

That said, we'd sometimes like to go places together; weekends away, picnics. This is part of the reason I got my 400, after 3 years on the Fly 150. It's just more versatile.

All the best, Ross - I love my new Burgman and I hope you find something suitable for your situation.
 

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Ross, we need to talk. I live in Huntington Woods, near Woodward and I-696, and know other riders in the area.

I am in your age bracket although my wife and I have been riding a while on everything from mopeds to 50cc scooters to 150cc scooters, and now we have a Burgman 400 that we're using for two-up touring on longer trips. The smaller Genuine Buddies (one a 125cc and the other 150cc) are very different riding experiences from the Burgman 400, and it probably would make a lot more sense for you to start with something smaller, first. Compared to the smaller bikes, the Burgman is a handful (although I love it) and I absolutely would not recommend it to a beginner. Pick up a used small bike (and if your wife likes it, get a second one). Or, if you want something new, I can steer you in the right direction regarding local dealers and brands.

Send me a private message if you want to talk more. I'm always happy to help another scooterist enter the fray.

BTW, it's a good time to start thinking about this. We took our very first ride of the season together TODAY!

jd
 
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